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Author Topic: The C64 Not-so-mini  (Read 1878 times)

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Vigo

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The C64 Not-so-mini
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:19:15 pm »


A New C64 "Mini" console will be coming out in December. This version is larger that the 2017 version and has a full working keyboard as well as a vic-20 mode. Probably an expanded library, but the last one was super easy to just add games via USB.

gingecko

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 04:24:42 pm »
Lode Runner. This time I will beat you!

Locke141

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 06:23:50 pm »
The C64 community is very dedicated. You can literally buy a new shell made from the original molds.

Howard_Casto

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 11:22:35 pm »
Yeah but you still can't get a new keyboard, which kind of kills it as that's the most important part. 

yotsuya

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 01:53:18 pm »
Thanks for the post Vigo. If you can add your own games to this, I think Im gonna get one.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 07:35:29 pm »
I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  All of these "classic" consoles seem really cool and then they are released and we find out there is something wrong with it that makes it horrible.  I really like the c64/vic 20 modes but I want to see it out in stores before I can make a decision. 

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2019, 08:46:48 am »
The one big unknown is the quality of the keyboard. That's the issue that will make or break this product for me.

The CAD mockups certainly look very nice. But the pictures of the pre-production prototypes suggest they might have cheaped out and gone with rubber dome switches and painted keycaps.

I really hope I'm wrong because if the keyboard is even half decent this could be an awesome product.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2019, 01:26:40 pm »
For $120 it better use cherry switches.  I still don't get why these idgits keep making the price so high on these classic consoles.  Whenever they do they end up in the bargain bin like the psx classic. 

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2019, 07:37:54 am »
Well it looks like it has finally arrived.



I'm still waiting for more detailed reviews on the quality of the keyboard before I decide whether to pull the trigger. But it certainly looks nice.

One positive is that, from the teardown, it looks like it's going to be really easy to mod the hardware. The keyboard has its own separate controller which appears from the connector to be regular USB. There's also a separate board on the right hand side of the case that appears to be nothing more than an on/off switch and a USB hub. If that's the case, then it should be trivial to replace the stock (slightly underpowered) Allwinner SOC with a Pi4, a small PC motherboard, or even an FPGA board.
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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2019, 07:52:06 am »
For $120 it better use cherry switches.  I still don't get why these idgits keep making the price so high on these classic consoles.  Whenever they do they end up in the bargain bin like the psx classic.

Seems for some companies that is the new business model -- release it a ridiculous price get the initial sales to those that have to have it - a few months later mark them down to half the MSRP to get those that have been able to pass on the purchase due to the high MSRP and have them think they got a great deal even though it was probably still higher than the MSRP should have been - then sell off the remaining units a bit above cost or even at a small loss because you made plenty off those that bought in the initial wave - Rinse and repeat with the next product.

ANd sad part is it most likely actually works out very well for the company making them - since they sell them in bulk to the retailer at a wholesale price based off of their MSRP and the retailers are the ones that take the slimer margins from the mark downs not the manufacturer. ( but evidentally there is enough being made off the products overall because the retailers keep stocking them. )

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2019, 07:59:41 am »

Seems for some companies that is the new business model -- release it a ridiculous price get the initial sales to those that have to have it - a few months later mark them down to half the MSRP to get those that have been able to pass on the purchase due to the high MSRP and have them think they got a great deal even though it was probably still higher than the MSRP should have been - then sell off the remaining units a bit above cost or even at a small loss because you made plenty off those that bought in the initial wave - Rinse and repeat with the next product.

Agreed, apart from the 'new' part. That business model is actually as old as time. And to be fair to businesses, new products always incur huge fixed up-front costs. Once those fixed costs have been recovered, they can afford to start selling units more cheaply.
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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2019, 01:41:33 pm »
Yeah but that's not even how these deals are going.  For the NES/SNES classic... sure they were churning those out as fast as they could and still selling them, but for some of the lesser plug n play units it's most likely a single order and unless it's a success, when they are gone they are gone.  The psx classic started at a staggeringly stupid $99.  It eventually went down to $20, which is probably at cost for the retailers, but what does Sony care as they unloaded them all at their asking price.  It's going to eventually kill this trend for everyone but those who will put in the effort to make a good product (aka Nintendo) or those that will be so shady that they can still churn out crap nobody wants (aka at games). 

bigster

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2019, 09:55:36 am »
The Genesis Mini is already 20 dollars lower than MSRP.  Hope that gets to 19.99 soon.

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2019, 12:19:08 pm »
if this thing hooked up to a CRT TV i'd probably buy it.

Howard_Casto

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2019, 10:15:23 pm »
The price on this thing is ridiculous imho, but that being said all the reviews are very flattering.  People have been doing all sorts of tests to see how well the system is emulated and all the quirks, bugs, ect. of a real c64 are in tact.  Basically it behaves more or less exactly like a c64 (or vic 20 in vic mode).  If they have a sale on these or I have some amazon credit burning a hole in my pocket I'm going to get this one. 

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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2019, 08:14:24 am »
The price on this thing is ridiculous imho, but that being said all the reviews are very flattering.  People have been doing all sorts of tests to see how well the system is emulated and all the quirks, bugs, ect. of a real c64 are in tact.  Basically it behaves more or less exactly like a c64 (or vic 20 in vic mode).  If they have a sale on these or I have some amazon credit burning a hole in my pocket I'm going to get this one.

Post a link if you find one... Id love to pick one up as well.
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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2019, 10:12:25 am »
I've watched a couple of teardown videos and my worst fears about the keyboard have been confirmed. The switches are based around standard cheap-and-cheerful rubber dome over membrane technology. I had hoped they might have used mechanical switches given how cheap the cherry clones from China have become over the last few years.

The situation with regards to the keycaps is even more disappointing. I had hoped they might be doubleshots like the original C64. However, they appear to be white keycaps coated with a thin layer of brown paint. Presumably, the legends are printed by lasering off the brown paint to expose the white plastic below. Whilst they look great on day one, keycaps made using this technology are notorious for wearing out quickly.

If they hadn't cheaped out on the keyboard, then I'd have regarded the $120 price tag (110 where I live) as actually pretty fair. However, I'm now going to wait until the price drops considerably before (possibly) buying one.
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Re: The C64 Not-so-mini
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2020, 12:14:17 pm »
The price on this thing is ridiculous imho, but that being said all the reviews are very flattering.  People have been doing all sorts of tests to see how well the system is emulated and all the quirks, bugs, ect. of a real c64 are in tact.  Basically it behaves more or less exactly like a c64 (or vic 20 in vic mode).  If they have a sale on these or I have some amazon credit burning a hole in my pocket I'm going to get this one.

Post a link if you find one... Id love to pick one up as well.


Not yet available in North America.   Hopefully soon.